• Tired? It’s just Fall time

    Why am I so tired, I get a LOT of that in the clinic. Most of it I get in September. Why is that?

    The quick answer is. Have you noticed it is colder? You use more energy to keep warm at 15 degrees than when it is 30 degrees. The energy comes from you, if you did not “make” more then you will have less available for other things. Did you stop doing other things? Likely not. Therefore you feel tired.

    Other reasons have more to do with history. A hundred or more years ago, think about farming. Most of it is done by now. There is a rest before the hard winters. Are you resting more? Again likely not.

    In our modern culture it is just go, go, go. But for a few thousand years most humans in this hemisphere, would be going to bed earlier as before electric lights came around, once it’s dark, it’s bed time. You can only look at each other by coal oil lamp for so long. Or so my Grandpa used to say.

    In Chinese Medicine, fall time is one of coalescing, getting things together. But again in modern times, with out the need to prepare food and other necessities for winter we just keep going.

    What can you do? Watch a season or two of “Alaskan Survival” and head on up north and get back in tune with nature… Or

    Get a bit more to eat, get a bit more rest, put on a jacket. I know you just want to wear shorts for a bit longer, but it’s over. Finish the projects and settle back into the fall routine.

    If you have kids it can be very tempting to have them in something every night, soccer, basketball, music, swimming and our favorite Kung-Fu. Do the world a favor, give them some free time and more sleep.

    This is the season when I start to see the most “illnesses” versus just injuries. It is the natural time for things to wrap up and stop for the winter. Well historically that is.

    Do yourself a favor, take it easy in September and early October and then ramp up a bit for the winter sports and you will be glad you did. Otherwise, I’ll see you soon.

    Be Well,
    Ward Willison
    Kelowna Acupuncture & Other Natural Therapies




  • Need more sleep?

    I saw a flyers for back to school so I figured it was time to put this up.

    If you want a lovely child, get them more sleep! If you want a super lovely child, get them a bit more sleep!

    This of course goes for you also. So many health challenges I see every day can be helped by an hour or two of extra sleep. Well it is NOT extra, it is the correct amount. Have a look at the chart and make a note of how much sleep you and your family get versus what the research indicates is required.

    When I say “get more sleep”, I normally hear. “But I can not get to sleep”, or “I wake up”, or “I don’t feel rested when I get up”, and my favorite “I don’t have time”. All of that can be and is often true.

    The answer is get more sleep. Develop a sleep plan, (see below) and work the plan for a month or two. Good “sleep hygiene” is the catchy word for go to bed and fall asleep easily.

    If you have raised a child, what is the not so catchy word for sleep hygiene? “Bed time routine”. Yup, remember whey you start with bath time, air time, tummy rub time, story time…. and finally a hour or so later the little one is fast asleep. Well it works for you also, you may not need the air time but who knows.

    Depending on what is the challenge of your sleep, I can help, or Chinese Medicine can help. There is a long list of reasons why people have bad sleep and various remedies to deal with it.Read more

  • Interstitium, your newest organ

    The Interstitium is not designated as an organ yet, but it may become the 80th organ in our bodies. If so it would be the third major “discovery” in the last 5 years.

    First was the discovery that there is lymph system in the brain. The mention of lymph in the brain for years and years got you laughed out of medicine.

    Second was the reclassification of the  Mesentery as an organ. It’s all in your guts and does some really cool things.

    The Interstitium has always existed in Oriental Medicine (OM), called the “Cou Li” the spaces between organs. It was found in Western Medicine (WM) by using a new way to sample tissue. They took some tissue from a living person and did not desiccate it, (press or dry it out). Then they realized there is a whole bunch of connections and fluid pathways. The more they looked, the more they found. Now they think this “organ” can be 20% of your body’s weight. Which would make it the biggest organ you have.

    I think the important thing from the discovery was the technology they used to find the Interstitium. They used “living” tissue more or less in it’s living state. I think the discovery’s WM would make if they quite doing all this research on animals and studying tissue via autopsy, would revolutionize medicine. You fix people by working with living people, but much of WM was built studying dead people and animals. There is a difference between us and monkeys and rats, maybe small but enough…Read more

  • Me and Tai Chi

    I like Tai Chi, you know that slow moving stuff you see ‘old’ people doing in the park in China town?

    I recently came back from a big workshop in Toronto the 20 year anniversary of the passing of the Master of our style. Mr. Moy Lin-Shin.

    It was my opportunity to see all the ‘top’ practitioners in one room and they did not let me down. Wow, can those men and women move and generate power. Yes that slow moving stuff is not always slow, but it sure is moving. Moving me across a room like I got a push from a train. Our style is purely for health, but there are a few ‘old timers’ that took me aside and showed me some of the ways to apply that force differently.

    We had a visit from Mrs. Kwan, a small Chinese lady that is a legend around those parts. She did a demo and showed some techniques to make this part or that part work better. So I asked the great question; “wow, she’s good, how long has she done Tai Chi for?” 35 years. “wow, when did she start?” age 63. “Wait a minute that lady is 98 years old?” yup.

    Lets just say, HOLLY COW!!! Having been in the business of watching people move for 22 years and doing martial arts for just under 40 years. Mrs. Kwan has cemented my belief Tai Chi is a health preserving, longevity super exercise thing to do. Run out and join now! The club I teach for is non-profit so, $25/month and free if you can’t afford it.Read more

  • On the radio

    I recently did a NPR national radio interview with Ezreena Scott  a local trauma therapist. It was my first radio gig. You can listen to it here.

    Ezreena did a great job and I learned a lot by doing it. Radio time goes fast and then it’s gone.

    I would like to have said so much more on the subject, so I will touch on it here.

    We all have trauma, individually our personal trauma can be a 10 out of a 10. If you compare traumas from person to person, yours might not seem so bad in comparison. But only in comparison, personally if you think your broken leg is a 10 out of 10, then it is, for now anyway.

    If you compare your broken leg to watching your family die in a house fire, your broken leg may seem less important in that moment. But if you just reflected on your leg it can re-emerge at the 10 level.

    I think everyone would be well served by seeing a therapist from time to time. For trauma, life goals, mental thoughts, depression, anxiety, shyness, feelings of isolation…. lots of things.

    The more time people spend in “modern” culture of cellphones etc, the more trauma they will possess.

    Why is that? Well when I was a kid there was a BIG newspaper called the “Sunday edition of the New York Times”. It was said that one newspaper issue had more information in it than my Great-Grandad was exposed to in his whole life. True or not I don’t know but an interesting statement.

    When you consider in a day my child can be exposed to ANY information in the world. Much of it is not good, even trauma inducing. And yet all statistic show the world is safer, less poverty, longer lives, more conveniences. What is going on.

    Trauma is good business. The famous newspaper adage, “if it bleeds, it leads”. Meaning put the worst stories first and lets get people’s adrenaline (fear) going. We are hardwired to respond to stress inducing things. The response they want is you read, watch or listen all the way for their advertisements to sell you something.

    How does Oriental Medicine and Acupuncture help? I could have said more about this on the radio show, but…Read more

  • Grade 6 camp outs and goals

    I admit it, one of my big life goals was fulfilled last week. I got to chaperone my kids Grade 6 school camp out and it was fantastic. Thank you to the SD23 school teachers that made that trip and many before it happen. I am grateful for the amount of time you put into it.

    The location, Gardom Lake Camp and it was impressive, weather was awesome and no big injuries and lots of great moments.

    I am a fan of goals. Over the years I have made thousands and likely accomplished hundreds.

    There are as many ways to make goals, as there are people striving for them. Google it and try a few different ways. I have changed how I do it several times in the last 35 years (ouch that’s a long time).

    Now I pick 5 goals a year, generally bigger ones. Break them down into bite size pieces and go about getting them done. Once you have done it for a while it’s fairly straight forward. In the beginning I used to beat myself up a bit for not getting them, or changing them, or…. Now I just work on them and they get done or they don’t.

    The one thing I think more people could be aware of is, many of your goals will NOT bring you what you thought.Read more

  • Coach-ability

    Did a North U sailing trim and tactics course this weekend. 60+ participants, 30 volunteers, 20 boats and perfect weather (a miracle for our lake).

    We had 5 famous sailing coaches fly in from around the USA and Canada and they put it too us. It was great for a few reasons.

    Our boat won the races, that’s always nice. But how that happened was really interesting.

    The crew on my boat, all knew each other but had not sailed together. Sailing is really a symphony between all members of the crew, some good choices and luck to make your boat go fast.

    But the first thing we realized is, we have all developed different ‘short-hand’ practices on each of our boats, which crashed our symphony to the ground.

    There were some mild tense moments and then a magical thing happened. We were coach-able.

    We put our ego’s, stupidity, ignorance on the side and went about the business of getting better. We did what out coach told us. The boat went super fast and it was great. Read more

  • Trauma Talk

    I am getting interviewed by a psychotherapist on the subject of trauma, so I thought I would listen to her radio show and get an idea of what I am in for.

    I was listening to her guest Colin Stroud of Cambridge, England where he runs a trauma program. He said some very interesting things about children’s processing of trauma, which I ‘generally’ agree with.

    disclaimer: All situations are different and require an individual treatment solution, what follows is a discussion not specifically applicable to your child, get a professional to assess them.

    Children under the age of 7-8 normally have a different functionality to their brain than adults. They basically do not have as many connections inside their brain to think or process in a way adults do. This can be very difficult for an adult to understand and be patient with.

    Children from the ages of 8 to 16-ish, have a “normally” connected brain, like everyone else, BUT they just got the ‘fully functional model’ and they don’t necessarily know how to run all the options.Read more

  • Marine safety

    I had the great pleasure to teach a Marine Radio course this weekend with my Kelowna Power Squadron friends Clark and Howard.

    I lived on a ship for 6+ years in that time I did over 500,000 nautical miles (it’s a lot) and I have been lucky to sail quite a bit in the Caribbean and Gulf Islands. I even got to go to Antarctica by ship.

    I can not count the number of fatalities I have seen in that time. Lots, and many were preventable.

    The emergency’s generally happen very quickly. The set up for the emergency can take years of poor maintenance, bad luck and mostly not following safe boating practices.

    The easiest thing in the world that would save lives this year is, WEAR YOUR LIFE JACKET!

    I bought a super cool one so I like to wear it, I put a big rescue knife on it to make it look even cooler.

    Read more

  • all body care ward willison

    Passing of a great man

    If someone has taught you, counseled you, mentored you, gave you a hand up when you needed it. Go thank them!

    Giovanni Maciocia is likely the most published English author of Chinese medicine (TCM) books in the world. He passed away last week.

    As for theory he is the most influential teacher I will ever have.

    The first TCM book I ever bought was his on tongue diagnosis. I remember in the early days holding it up to people’s mouths to compare the pictures and proudly declaring “you have a damp Spleen”. Only for them to ask what is a damp Spleen and I did not have a clue how to explain it. Now I do thanks to Giovanni.

    Then I got his book on the Foundations of Chinese Medicine and I thought hit the jackpot.

    When he taught courses, they were clear, relevant and fun.

    I started acupuncture long before the internet was a big thing. There was no Amazon to order the latest book. There were no latest books. Giovanni’s books really shaped a generation of practitioners.Read more